Washington Nationals: Is Bryce Harper The Best Right Fielder In NL East?

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Aug 15, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) hits an RBI double and the go ahead run in the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Nationals defeated the Rockies 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 15, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) hits an RBI double and the go ahead run in the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Nationals defeated the Rockies 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Washington Nationals
Apr 5, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) connects for a two run homer during the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

2. Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)

2016 stats: .240/.326/.489, 27 home runs, 74 RBI’s, 50 runs scored in 119 games

People forget that Stanton is only three years removed from finishing in second place in the National League MVP voting to Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. However, his 6.5 WAR in 2014 went down to 2.5 this past season.

Stanton is only 27, but he has battled numerous injuries over the last couple of seasons. On August 13, he went on the disabled list with a groin injury and missed a little less than a month of playing time.

While Stanton has missed playing time, he does have 20+ home runs in each of his first six seasons in the Major Leagues. With all that being said, Stanton doesn’t draw many walks. He has 84 combined walks in the last two seasons.

When you look at Stanton’s defensive numbers, his four runs saved (Fangraphs) was tied for third among all NL right fielders last season. But, he was also third among NL right fielders in most errors (four).

It has always been wondered with Stanton how many home runs he could hit if he wasn’t playing in a pitcher’s friendly ballpark. However, he did have 13 of his 27 home runs at Marlins Park last year.

2017 is a big year for the three-time All-Star. Not only is Barry Bonds no longer his hitting coach, but also the All-Star Game is in Miami, which will put more pressure on Stanton. Regardless of the high strikeout totals (129 as a right fielder – most in the NL last year), he is still one of the more feared power hitters in the game.

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